Are you thinking about how to convert event visitors into customers after each trade show? Event marketing effects are not limited to what happens at the event. Apart from showcasing your product to the world, you have to retain the customer's memory of your brand, spark their interest, let the sales talk to them, and ultimately drive them down to the decision to purchase. This involves pre-event planning and post-event analysis for more precision marketing strategies deployed towards particular segments of customers. Event traffic is the most valuable source for potential customers, so capturing them at each marketing funnel can significantly drive ROI, whereas B2B corporations can generate as much as 41.3% of their marketing spend. Events establish trust and authority with your visitors, and experiential marketing is beneficial for customer engagement and results in conversion down to the funnel.
Key goals for Event Planning - High conversions event marketing
As event marketers, we should always incorporate the following goals throughout the event planning journey to leverage potential audience data into leads or conversions.
- Turning event attendees into leads
- Convert leads to customers
- Maximize ROI on the overall event
Conversions are not acquired at one point in time, turning the audience into conversions takes a few steps to follow through:
- Attracting qualified guests
- Shortlisted high-potential segments and capture them into leads
- Inform, engage and persuade attendees to need your product with an experiential event
- Bring the leads down to conversion
Extensive reading: A Beginner's Guide to B2B Sales Lead Generation
4 Key Elements in driving conversions in Event Planning
So how can we transform the abstract concepts above into real strategies? There are 4 elements that we should design thoughtfully to achieve high conversion.
An attractor offers tempting offers or experiences designed to attract interested parties to your event or trade shows. It works with the upper funnel of sales when customers just have a little understanding of your brand and you want to build up awareness among the target pool. Examples of events include product demos, display trade shows, discounts or free trials given after attending events, and free content/courses for newcomers. Product-related experience and gifts usually draw the attention of the wider public, be it targeting an audience group or not, they’re enticed not because of necessity but for the perks. Increasing event traffic is the first step to gaining reputation and awareness.
Identifiers are the data collection point to gather visitors' contact information for post-event re-marketing purposes, including who they are, what they’re interested in, and how they can be reached. Audience data and activities at each sale funnel are tracked for a timely marketing strategy. It also acts as an analytical tool for audience segmentation and interest tracking.
So in what way can we collect attendees' preferences and interests? Merely collecting demographic information is not enough to narrow down the target audience pool, so collecting habits and opinions is the most direct way to create customized marketing solutions and product plans for clients. There are 2 types of identifiers for key segment insights collection:
i. Conversion points
It refers to the tools or methods used for actively collecting user opinions on the product or event in survey format, including lead and product surveys. It can also track customer preference by email registrations and social media integrations. Completing the survey means the audience is likely to interact with your product and look forward to improvement. It offers a chance for you to catch up with them to show your eagerness to consider their concern while offering alternative solutions. With another online integration tracking, it reflects the demographic pattern of interested parties to your product in which you can tailor marketing materials on different channels, with different audience segments, e.g. target Generation Z on Instagram; family-oriented groups on Facebook, to increase the likelihood of conversion.
ii. Indirect insights
This is collected from data points that reflect audience behavior by tracking audiences’ interaction in the event. Examples include RFID tracking, movement tracking around the booths at events, and facial recognition technology. Apart from in-event tracking, it also leverages its digital activity data points through location-based mobile technology and social media tracking. Collecting activities through visible interaction in events is not enough to capture the daily rituals of the target audience. To provide the most competitive solutions, we have to track at a granular level to make our marketing content visible to the targeted group, offering timely suggestions through social media channels right after the audience has viewed related content online. Timely and suitable offerings make the conversion more likely to happen.
It refers to creating educational and informative activities or engaging content that nurtures visitors, moving them towards the lower marketing funnels by generating posters, videos, pamphlets, and demos. Useful content inspires interested parties and establishes your value proposition to them. This should be placed at the middle of the sales funnel, which influences your attendees when they’re in the consideration stage of purchasing. Make sure the content aligns with the CURVE framework - Compelling, Unique, Relevant, Visual, and Emotional to capture the audience's attention. Showing your content strategically at key points in time - while they’re waiting in lines and after visiting the booth reinforces their memory.
4. Sell Paths
It’s paramount to define conversion steps from attracting, engaging, and considering to converting with customized marketing content and enticing behavior from the sales team that draws potential clients down to the sales funnel. Here we aim to shorten the buying cycle by re-emphasizing the needs at each timeframe while making it seamless throughout the sales funnels without giving the sense of “Hard sell”.
Selling tactically after the awareness stage is keen when they’re considering if they need the product. At this point offering an exclusive free trial or time-limited add-on purchase discount gives them a sense of privilege that they are enjoying a premium offer. A Trial session may be a costly way to entice but the revenue generated could be far more than enough to cover the cost, resulting in satisfying ROI eventually.
Creating a streamlined sales funnel with minimized steps of conversion increases the likelihood to purchase. Email marketing on subsequent purchases of related products after an order is received online could be a way to address the need for an ordinary product originally.
To keep the attention to your product in your CRM database, digital marketing solutions like the integration of email marketing to any interaction business points, be it tradeshows or time-limited online sales when large customer info is collected, is essential to keep the targeted pool updated of your new promotion events - especially when they’re prone to price down event.
Click to know more about lead conversion in virtual events
A common issue in Event Planning - is insufficiently qualified leads even though the pool is large
Discount and free perks usually attract a pool of visitors, no matter if they’re your targeted group. Of course, attracting more attendees and service users does nothing wrong to your business. However, the non-targeted group usually cannot be retained for long. You don’t want to attract and engage during the event period merely - you want to build a long-term customer relationship with qualified leads. In this regard, you have to create incentives that are particularly useful to interested parties instead of giving freebies that are easily accessible. You know what’s the most valuable to your target groups, so your first step is to create value for them. For example, you can offer first-time free training for an educational agency or free consulting services for an investment entity. Only interested parties are willing to spend time to understand the values you can provide, and customized giving is more likely to address the client's needs. Throughout the course, you address their needs, offer suggestions, and perhaps time-limited discount prices, which are more likely to persuade visitors to go beyond.
Qualified leads need the effort of working delicately with the above elements - to collect, track, react, and convert, as well as to consider customer mentality and strategic thinking. Designing a seamless conversion path is beneficial to both customers and the business, leading to a higher intention of purchase and easier design of marketing or sales strategies with structured data collection points and paths. These would help create a better purchasing experience and product improvement and offer a transparent overview of the relationship between purchase and relative event marketing strategies, boosting conversion in general.
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